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John Kasich Surging in New Hampshire Primary Polls

John Kasich Surging in New Hampshire Primary Polls
(Wire Service)

By    |   Friday, 31 July 2015 10:36 AM

The sudden rise of Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary is beginning to draw attention nationwide.

On Monday, less than one week after the Ohio governor became the 16th Republican to declare for president in 2016, a new Monmouth University poll showed him tied for third place among likely primary voters. Donald Trump led the field with 24 percent; followed by Jeb Bush at 12 percent; and Kasich and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had 7 percent each.

These figures were similar to those in an NBC News/Marist poll released on Sunday. According to the poll, Trump led among likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters with 21 percent; Bush had 14 percent; Walker, 12 percent; and Kasich, 7 percent.

Most Granite State GOP sources who talked to Newsmax pointed to the positive response to Kasich’s announcement of his candidacy July 21 and to the biographical TV spots emphasizing his blue-collar background as reasons for Kasich's early rise in the polls.

"They caught things just right," former State Attorney General Tom Rath told us.

"Kasich’s move is the result of a very well-executed launch and a strong trip here on the ground that generated lots of positive buzz. It’s also the result of a smart use of paid television advertising at a time when no one else is on with a highly positive and optimistic message."

A veteran of numerous presidential campaigns who helped run primary campaigns for George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, Rath is so far neutral in the 2016 contest.

Kasich, Rath added, "is a good candidate for here — candid, accomplished, good at retail politics, and accessible. I am not sure that translates into 'momentum.' I think it is too early for that, but he is now seen by the New Hampshire voter as credible, qualified and in the discussion — all good things."

A key state operative in a rival campaign who requested anonymity agreed, telling Newsmax he felt "Kasich’s TV ads are very good, running often, and he has a deep online presence.

"Whoever is behind this strategy is doing a great job."

The Kasich campaign in New Hampshire is overseen by the heirs to two of the most familiar political names in the state. Kasich’s campaign chairman in New Hampshire is former Sen. John E. Sununu, namesake son of the former governor and a close friend of the Ohioan when he served in the House with him from 1997 to 2003.

The full-time campaign manager is Simon Thomson, a former assistant to Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, and grandson of the late three-term Gov. Meldrim Thomson, an icon among conservatives in New Hampshire.

"Gov. Kasich’s Super PAC has made the biggest media time buy so far and the strong support of Sen. Sununu has given him a lot of credibility here," former State Party Chairman Fergus Cullen, who is so far neutral in the race, told us.

The Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary is historically unpredictable because voters unaffiliated with a major party can vote in either presidential contest, although registered Republicans cannot vote in the Democratic primary and vice-versa. In 2000, for example, John McCain stunned observers by rolling up a 49 percent to 30 percent lead over long-presumed front-runner George W. Bush. This was due in large part to McCain’s strong following among unaffiliated voters.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

Joely Friedman, a senior at Ohio State University, is a National Journalism summer intern at Newsmax's Washington, D.C. bureau.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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The sudden rise of Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary is beginning to draw attention nationwide.
John Kasich, New Hampshire, Primary, Polls, Donald Trump
Friday, 31 July 2015 10:36 AM
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